Clips Round-up for 2/28/12
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
Politico: Senate may try House STOCK bill
"Senate Democratic and GOP leaders are considering taking up a House-passed version of legislation barring insider trading by lawmakers and congressional aides, a move designed to break a deadlock over the high-profile reform bill." More from AP.
ThinkProgress: Supreme Court refuses to humor anti-gay group's self victimization meme
"The Supreme Court has decided not to hear the National Organization for Marriage’s challenge to Maine’s campaign finance laws."
Sunlight Foundation: Yes, Virginia (and Dan and Wendy), Citizens United opened the door to unlimited money
Good report from Bill Allison at Sunlight pushing back on Citizens United news coverage. "Even so, Citizens United, along with subsequent court decisions and FEC rulings stemming from it, has radically broadened the means available to well-heeled individuals, not to mention labor unions and corporations, to influence federal elections."
The Atlantic: Q&A: Campaign finance reformer Mary Boyle
A nice interview with Common Cause's Mary Boyle!
Republic Report: Broadcasters lobbying against electronic disclosure of TV political ads
Broadcasters aren't thrilled with the idea of strengthening disclosure on political ads.
WaPo: NASCAR owners aren't just Mitt Romney's friends, they're donors too
The Washington Post writes about our research on the NASCAR team owners giving to Romney's campaign. Also at USA Today, HuffPo, and Newser.
Reuters: With Obama struggling in Hollywood, GOP support on the rise
"As President Obama finds himself working harder for Hollywood re-election donations – 'You can only be the first African-American president once,' says a Democratic consultant – the number of Hollywood Republicans appears to be swelling."
AP: Obama raising cash for re-election bid
"President Barack Obama is meeting with about 25 wealthy donors who each contributed $35,800 to his re-election effort."
LA Times: Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson doubles down on Newt Gingrich
In for a penny, in for a pound, I guess. PCAF's David Donnelly: "By the time the nomination is over, the Republican candidates will be competing for the presidency of the United States of Adelson. Our democracy should be in the hands of all of us, not a small number of wealthy Americans."
Reuters: Watchdog calls for probe of Romney super PAC ad
The Campaign Legal Center "officially challenged the legality of a presidential election campaign ad aired by a pro-Mitt Romney super PAC, calling for an investigation by the Federal Election Commission." More at The Hill.
WaPo: Mitt Romney consultants benefit from campaigns
"Zwick is among a close-knit group of senior Romney advisers who have created or work at firms that have collected millions of dollars in consulting fees from the campaign."
Mother Jones: Rick Santorum's mystery donor
Interesting! "The biggest donor to the pro-Rick Santorum super-PAC in January was a man you've almost certainly never heard of: William J. Doré Sr., a megarich energy executive from Lake Charles, Louisiana with a short but complicated history of political giving."
Election Law Blog: FEC deadlocks 3-3 on ruling whether super PAC's ads copied campaign ads
"The Federal Election Commission deadlocked on an enforcement case involving charges that the Republican-leaning Super PAC American Crossroads illegally funded more than $450,000 in television ads that reproduced film footage from the campaign of Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), according to FEC documents released Feb. 27."
Politico: Michael Grimm outlook: Ignore scandal
"If Michael Grimm is worried about the mounting allegations against him, he sure isn’t showing it."
Politico: Corporate tax next battle for White House
"President Barack Obama’s top financial wizards face an uphill climb on Capitol Hill in the coming weeks when they pitch the administration’s vision for revamping the corporate Tax Code — particularly on a provision that would tax all foreign earnings."
CRP: Donors to GOP's nondisclosing nonprofits travel in familiar circles
More great reporting from CRP: "Several nonprofit organizations that don't disclose their donors but have been deeply involved in partisan politics during the last several years have received multimillion-dollar contributions from groups that are familiar players in Republican circles."
NPR: Casting himself as outsider, Santorum benefited from DC "Revolving Door"
Sure, Santorum never registered as a lobbyist, but as Public Citizen's Craig Holman says, these types of lobbyists are "doing lobbying strategizing, organizing a lobbying campaign, and then perhaps having someone else pick up the telephone and do the actual lobbying contact on his behalf."
NaJo: Will Romney's finance co-chair become a liability
Interesting piece from Chris Frates on the problematic history of Romney's campaign finance co-chair (and super PAC donor).
Virginian-Pilot: Super secret PACs buy influence
Nice editorial from the Virginian-Pilot on super PAC donors: "These people want something. They're willing to pay top dollar for it. History suggests they'll get everything they want - earmarks, tax breaks, power, access - and more in the bargain."
The Hill: Democratic lobbyists giving cold shoulder to Obama super PAC
"Democratic lobbyists who have been barred from fundraising for President Obama’s campaign are showing little interest in donating instead to a super-PAC that supports him."
Politico: Maher defends $1 million Obama super PAC donation
"Comedian Bill Maher defended his $1 million dollar contribution to the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action, saying that he wanted other liberals not to take the 2012 campaign for granted."
HuffPost: Ron Paul disavows white supremacists, but takes their money
"Presidential hopeful Ron Paul has disavowed white supremacists and their views, but a review of federal campaign filings shows he accepts their money."
iWatch: Drug lobby gave $9.4 million to nonprofits that spent big on 2010 election
Great reporting from Michael Beckel: "The drug lobby's trade association was a multimillion-dollar donor to nonprofit groups that were actively working to elect federal candidates during the 2010 election, an iWatch News analysis of documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service reveals."
Houston Chronicle: Texans give more money to Colbert's PAC than to Romney's
Heh: "How popular is comedian Stephen Colbert's semi-serious Super PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow? In Texas, it's more popular that Mitt Romney's leading Super PAC."
Washington Post: Elections board backs initiative to ban corporate campaign giving
DC news: "A ballot initiative that would ban corporate contributions to District campaigns can go forward, city elections officials ruled Monday."